Israeli foundry to buy Japanese plant

The Israeli integrated circuit manufacturer TowerJazz reportedly is in negotiations with Micron Technology to purchase a wafer production plant in Nishiwaki City, Japan, for about $140 million. Micron is one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies. Micron employs 1,500 workers …

The Israeli integrated circuit manufacturer TowerJazz reportedly is in negotiations with Micron Technology to purchase a wafer production plant in Nishiwaki City, Japan, for about $140 million. Micron is one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies.

Micron employs 1,500 workers in Japan, and the Nishiwaki plant has been one of its principal operating sites. The eight-inch wafers produced there are outmoded for the company’s future market, but this size is relevant for TowerJazz, which manufactures integrated circuits for industrial-medical applications.

If the deal goes through as expected, Micron would end up owning six percent of TowerJazz, according to a report by Reuters.

“This proposed transaction would provide a long-term bridge toward a successful future for the Nishiwaki site,” said Steve Appleton, Micron chairman and CEO.

TowerJazz, a publicly traded company based in the northern Israeli town of Migdal HaEmek with a US subsidiary in Newport Beach, California, manufactures integrated circuits for more than 150 global customers. According to its website, it has ambitions of becoming the top specialty foundry in the world.

TowerJazz customers are focused on markets including radio frequency, high-performance analog, power, imaging, consumer, automotive, medical, industrial, and aerospace and defense. It currently has manufacturing facilities in three continents: two in Israel, one in the United States and access to additional capacity through foundry partnerships in China. The Micron plant in Japan would extend its reach in the Asian market.

About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.